Today was a shorter ride of only 40 km, from Prague to Kladno, a city to the west. Kladno is not on any tourist cycle route so Kris mapped out a route on bike paths marked on the PhoneMap app. We are setting ourselves up to re-join Eurovelo 4 heading west back into Germany. The route felt longer than it was and our progress was slow, due to the number of hill climbs and the fact that Kris had to regularly stop to check our progress on his phone.
We first had to work back down to the river Vltava, as we had to get across it. Kris chose small roads that kept us away from the traffic. One was made of cobble like rocks and was an incredibly steep downhill – it must have been about 16 degrees. We decided not to subject the bicycles to this punishment, so we walked them down.
We crossed the bridge on a bicycle lane painted on the tar. Then we followed the river for a few km. Sometimes there was a bicycle path, sometimes the bike path was shared with a foot path and sometimes we were on the road.
When we reached a canal lock in the river, we exited the river valley through a narrow side valley (following Sarecky Potok stream). It was a long uphill slog to the top. It was great getting to the top and seeing the wide countryside open up around us.
From here on we moved from small town to small town – sometimes on dirt roads and sometimes on small roads with few cars. There were green wheat fields between the towns. Horomerice was the first big town after our climb. We had another to climb again Tuchomerice and I took this photo at the top. You can see the Prague airport on the horizon, which our route was circling.
We had to make our way to a point where we could cross a highway, and then through the town of Stredokluky. We stopped for an ice cream at Hrebec. The little store was so obscure, sort of hidden around a post office, I wasn’t even sure it existed. We have found this with many Czech grocery stores, even supermarkets – they look as though they are all closed up from the front and not very accessible.
There is not much for the tourist to see in Kladno. It has a lot of large soviet style apartment blocks – which we also saw in Prague and other Czech towns. We rode past many of these on our way in and a big complex of large stores. Kris bought a new shirt at an Intersport store (Decathlon store is due to open in a week’s time here!)
There is a pleasant pedestrian street at the centre with a few cafes and an ice cream shop. We visited the tourist office for some maps.
Our accommodation is about 3 km from the centre. It is not what I expected, as doesn’t have any signage from the street. Even though there are six rooms, you feel like you are in part of someone’s house. Also the owner who greeted us seems to have a cold so I hope we don’t sick. The room is ok though.
We found a supermarket and really nice cafe nearby where we had a traditional meal (involving meat and dumplings) and some beer.